Champagne corks popped late into the night at the Grand Hotel Inter-Continental in central Paris where guests at the eighth annual Flight International Aerospace Industry Awards applauded Jurgen Thomas as he was named Personality of the Year.

Thomas, the creator of the Airbus A380, received the honour in front of 500 guests at a glittering ceremony. He was praised for his role in 'one of the most significant industry events of the past 12-months'.

Dubbed 'the father of the A380', Thomas was feted for his "determination and persistence" without which the 555-seat aircraft would never have been launched.

Announcing the winners, one of the judges said Thomas was a clear winner in the category. "He has been swimming upstream for two years with many saying the product would never launch or be a financial success."

Source: Flight Daily News